Fimmvörðuháls, also known as the five cairns pass, is a beautiful area located in south Iceland. A treasure hidden between two glaciers: the Eyjafjallajökull and myrdalsjökull. This photographer’s paradise is about 25 kilometers long (15.53 miles), and you also got 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) to climb.
Not only will Fimmvörðuháls delight you with its nature, which offers tons of beautiful waterfalls, 26 to be precise. Volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers, and much more. But it will also be the perfect place to get your best camera shots and videos. Many Youtubers/Vloggers are choosing this one-of-a-kind trail to raise their views on their channels.
So grab your snacks, open up your notes app, and get ready to add the Fimmvörðuháls Pass trail to your Iceland bucket list!
Fimmvorduhals pass hike Iceland – Getting there
Let’s start right away with the trail, which is what we are here for. One fascinating fact about Fimmvörðuháls pass is that the National Geographic voted it as one of the world’s best hikes. And you are about to see why.
This south coastpass is accessible from two different points: from the north, through Thorsmork valley, or from the opposite side: Skogafoss.
I suggest you do it from Skogafoss, as it is easier to access from Reykjavik through the Route one (Ring Road). It will take about 2 hours to get to Skogafoss if you depart from Reykjavik.
You will be amazed by the beauty of the mighty Skogafoss waterfall as soon as you reach the starting point of this route. It is totally up to you though, no matter where you start, the adventure will be splendid from either side.
Once you start the hike, the first stop of the pass is theSkógá river, and this is not the typical river you see elsewhere. This one has many impressing waterfalls along its course, little ones, and bigger ones like Skogafoss itself. This area is one of the most preferred parts of the trail by many visitors! A fascinating start indeed.
Means of Transportation
You will likely have a rental car with you; however, since you will be starting at one point and leaving through a different one, the best way to get and to leave the trail is getting a bus or a taxi.
By using a taxi, you will have more time flexibility; not everyone completes the hiking route at the same peace. Therefore, you will not be forced to stick yourself to bus schedules, which by the way, are quite limited as they usually have only one or two routes in the morning and a couple of departures during the afternoon.
The best option for travelers is to park close to Thorsmork or Skogar. Afterward, you can get a taxi.
If you are not sure about this option, a good recommendation is to get a highland hiker’s passport. Oh, and the good thing about it is that you can purchase the ticket to fimmvörōuhals trail and also to the Laugavegur trail. So you can hike one of them or both hiking trails. If you have enough time, I recommend walking both paths. Take into account that you will need 3-4 days to do the Laugavegur hike.
As of today, the prices (per person) for the hiker’s passports are as follow:
Adults: 13,900 ISK (Icelandic Krona)
Youth – Teen: 6,950 ISK
This specific service’s departure is at 7:15 AM, quite early for some of us. Yet very convenient for everyone, as you will make the most of your day if you start the trail soon. You will know what I mean when you finish the route.
Lastly, there is a less comfortable option, which will make you exceptionally enjoy south Iceland: the 4x4 Jeep tour. There are day tours you can book for a more adventurous trip before the hike.
Or, if you do not want to complete the hike itself, but you still want to have a glance at the zone and some of its highlights, I recommend this tour. It will give you a pretty good idea of the place’s geography, and it’s other-worldly nature.
How long does it take to complete the Fimmvorduhals Pass trailand where to stay?
The short answer is 8-10 hours, that’s what people take on an average to complete the hike from start to finish. Depending on your expertise level, you might take more or less time.
For more experienced hikers, it could be smoothly done in less than 7 hours, if you are fast, and in shape, I dare to say you’ll finish the trail in 7 hours, including lunchtime, picture taking, and the many brief stops you will make to contemplate the beautiful hikingroute.
On the opposite side, if you are not as experienced, and you are just visiting the area and taking the challenge, it could take 10-12 hours, and at this rate, I would suggest splitting your trip in two days. Trust me, you will enjoy it a lot more, and at the end of the day, your feet will thank you for it.
The hardest part of the trail, and where you will spend more time, is where the Eyjafjallajökull and myrdalsjökull split. These are the two glaciers I mentioned at the beginning of the post, and here where the fimmvörōuhals hiking pass gets complicated. Here is where you start to climb uphill, and things get a bit arduous, at least for me.
Anyways, here is a brief explanation of the two-day hike option. Once you’ve done most of the climbing and hit the top, you will reach the mountain hut(Fimmvörðuháls hut), which is the best place to spend the night and fully rest before you get back on the trail. Make sure to book it well in advance.
Thorsmork Fimmvorduhals volcano hike
At this point, you will have seen a hardly comparable nature diversity: green landscapes, moon-like areas, glaciers, waterfalls, and finally, the craters and fissures caused by the Eyjafjallajökull eruptionback in 2010. In fact, due to the explosion, two craters were created:Móði y Magni, named after the sons of Thor. Pretty cool, huh? And what’s even cooler is that they are the newest volcanoes on earth.
Fimmvorduhals Pass trail
To wrap things up, a few recommendations before your adventure:
Make sure to bring the right gear, although you can only do it during summertime, from June to September. Keep in mind that your summer might be quite different from the summer in Iceland. The weather can drastically change, especially when you reach the top, so make sure to bring water and wind-proof clothes, as well as snacks and a water bottle. You might want to be hydrated while you accomplish the Fimmvörðuháls Pass trail.